Post # 1
Darling Husband and I have a 14 week old schnoodle (shnauzer/poodle) and we’re putting in a ton of effort to train her (specifically, to get her potty trained), but we feel like she’s not responding.
We keep her in a crate during the day, and we have a dog walker come twice to let her out. We also keep her in her crate overnight, and we take her out once. She NEVER has accidents during the day or overnight, so we know that she can hold it upwards of 5 hours.
However, when we’re at home she has accidents ALL THE TIME. Last night we were having dinner and we had Doppler tied up to the table on her leash in her bed. Within 45 minutes she peed 3 TIMES on the floor. If we see it happen, we scold her and take her outside, then praise her for going outside, but it’s not working.
Darling Husband and I have never trained a puppy before, so here are some questions. First of all, is this normal for a pup her age? A friend of ours told us that their dog was totally potty trained by 3 months, but Doppler is so far from that. Secondly, what can we do when we’re home to prevent accidents? We take her outside every hour on the hour, and we’ve been pulling her water so she can’t drink whenever she wants.
Post # 3
do you give her a treat when she goes out?? when i was potty training my 2 dogs i would go out with them and as soon as the started going potty i would say ‘go potty, yes good girl!” and then give them a treat right away…..
Post # 4
Wow. I really don’t know what to suggest since it seems to me that you are doing everything that you should! Confining her to limited space, giving her ample opportunity to go outside, praising her when she does go outside. The only other thing I can think of that we were told it not to let the dog see you clean up her mess. Apparently its like a power thing that they like that they can make you clean up after them? So when she does have an accident, one of you take her out and the other one clean up while she’s not in the house to see you. Other than that just give her time, be patient with her, and keep doing what you’re doing. If she continues to make no progress at all, I would check with your vet. Perhaps she has a blatter control issue of some sort (though it seems unlikely since she can hold it in the crate).
Post # 5
Scolding her isnt good. Praising her when she does potty is good.
Seems like she needs to learn how to tell you she needs to potty. We trained out dog to ring the bell when she needs to go out.
We have it tied to the door we take her out and we rang it and then made her ring it until she learned that thats what she needs to do.
Post # 6
I think it’s pretty normal for a puppy that age, and personally I think your friend is nuts. We have a welsh terrier and he’s 8 months, we are still trying to train him. He’s almost there, but still have accidents. My FIL’s dog took a year to fully house train, and so did my parents’ two dogs.
Post # 7
She’s got the crate thing down. She knows not to pee in there or she has to sit in in. However, when let out she doesn’t know not to pee because 1 of 3 things.
- Because its big wide open spaces and who cares if she pees in the corner because she doesn’t have to sit in it.
- She doesn’t know yet and thinks its ok to pee in the house.
- She is still too young and the excitement and activity of being out increases her need to pee.
All of these are hard to get past. You can’t force her to deal with it if she pees in the corner, you can’t scold her for peeing, and you can make her grow up faster.
Here are a few things I would suggest:
- Take her out more frequently. Because she is getting more activity when out of the crate her bowels are moving quicker. See if every 30 minutes helps.
- After any type of play time or excitement take her out again.
- Walk her on these outings to try to stimulate what you can.
- Really scold her when she goes pee in the house
- Really reward her for peeing outside (extra treats lots of praise).
Another thing that I found really helpful was to train “go potty” on command. When I would take my puppy out, just walk around with him and say, “go potty, go potty, etc” until they actually go and then give lots of praise. He now knows what i mean when I say, “go potty”.
Post # 8
Please don’t listen to advice about scolding, especially “really scolding” – whatever that means, it sounds unpleasant. Time and time again, negative reinforcement has been PROVEN to create other problematic behaviors in dogs. It might work on one issue, but will create another issue somewhere else.
Positive reinforcement works the best — reward the dog when it does something correctly, and ignore it when it does something incorrectly. Dogs are programmed to want human acceptance. They want to do what makes you happy, so communicate that to them.
Second, 3 months old and being completely housetrained is NOT THE NORM, and more than that, it is EXTREMELY UNLIKELY! Don’t hold your dog to that standard because you will be disappointed. Animals that young are physically incapable of holding their bladder for very long. 14 weeks is very young, and if you stay on course with her crate training, taking her out frequently, and rewarding her with praise and treats when she goes outside, she will be potty trained. The only thing you’re missing is patience.
Post # 9
Also, withholding water from a young animal, especially a puppy or kitten, is just asking for trouble. Puppies and kittens are notorious for crashing when they don’t have proper access to the essentials.
Please alter that habit and make water constantly available, especially during the summer. She needs to ALWAYS have access to water. It is cruel otherwise.
Post # 10
@grenadine: I disagree that a puppy needs to always have access to water. When we were house training our puppy, she got water with each meal and after she came in from going potty. Then we put her right back in the crate with no water access. She is now over a year old and is perfectly healthy and happy. It is in no way cruel as long as the puppy is getting enough water.
OP, I didn’t consider my dog fully housetrained until she was 8 months old. Don’t worry! All dogs are different and develop at different schedules. House training is the hardest part of owning a dog though.
Post # 11
I wouldn’t completely listen to the people who say not to scold your dog when she pees in the house. The trick is that you should only scold them if you catch them in the act; if it is afterwards, don’t scold as the dog doesn’t make the connection between what they did and the scolding. They will only connect it to what they are doing at that moment – therefore, why you must catch them. Then a stern “No! We go potty outside” as you take them out to finish their business should do the trick. And definitely give her TONS of praise, treats, etc when she does go outside – every time.
Other than that – you seem to being doing everything right (although I would argue that you should always have water available except for when they are in their crate). These things just take time. You dog will slowly begin to have less and less accidents but you’re a long way away from none.
Post # 12
@grenadine: We certainly weren’t holding our pup to the standard of being potty trained by 3 months of age. Since neither of us has trained a puppy before, though, we just wanted to make sure our pup was on the right track. When our friend said their dog was trained so soon, we just wanted to verify that it’s not the norm.
We give her plenty of water, but we do take it away after 7pm so that she’s not drinking right before bed. She has access to water when she eats, after she goes to the bathroom, and when she comes in from walks/play time. She seems to be doing pretty well with that.
Thank you all so much for the advice! We have been praising Doppler heavily when she potties outside, but we haven’t used treats… maybe we’ll switch. I’ll also start taking her out every 30 minutes instead of every hour. It sounds like our pup is right on track, though, so that’s reassuring!
Post # 13
Oh I remember the puppy potty training days. It’s an around the clock thing. We didn’t get a lot of sleep during that time. I agree with most posts above. Definitely praise her each time she pees and while she is peeing say just what @caszos in saying, “Go pee-pee, Go potty… and say her name.’ I still do this with our 2 year old dog when he can’t pick a place to poopie. So I say, ‘Go poopie, Boris” and each time he mosies over to the grass and goes. It’s unbelieveable.
I also agree with training her to ring bells so she can let you know when she needs to go out. We did this one with our other dog and he’s great at it. He’ll ring them, stand there and if we don’t get up right away, he’ll come over and sit right in front of us just staring at us. Quite funny.
Post # 14
Don’t be scared – and good for both of you for having patience and looking for advice. I see so many new owners give up way too quickly!
I agree with the positive reinforcement, teaching a command (we use ‘hurry up’), and increasing outside intervals. I would also let her outside and get energy out before she’s loose in the house with you. Those breeds are smart and want attention, so she may forget to go when she’s outside if she doesn’t yet have a command. (There’s just so much going on!) It may mean waiting for a while with no fun and games outside before playing, but it will likely help.
Post # 15
@stephinpa and @michelleez: How did you train your pup to use a bell? I think one of our biggest issues is that Doppler doesn’t know how to tell us she needs to go out…
Post # 16
1) She is still really young.
2)Dogs love routine. She has no problem with the crate or at night because she knows exactly when she will go out next. Make sure you are establishing a very specific routine: you walk in the door, you take her out, dinnertime/playtime, you go out, relax time, you go out, then bedtime.
3)Make sure you bring the treats outside with you. As soon as she is finished with her business, give her a treat right then. Waiting until you get back in the house is too late.
4)Make sure her walks are long enough to really empty out.
Somebody once said that the reason God made puppies and babies so cute is that they are such a pain in the neck, no one would want them otherwise:)
Hang in there–the day she finally asks to go out will be the happiest of your life so far!